The New York Times is reporting that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe may be fired by Jeff Sessions days before he is allowed retirement benefits.
The Times’ story fails to mention most of the underlying details involving McCabe.
From the article:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, just days before he is scheduled to retire on Sunday.
Mr. McCabe is ensnared in an internal review that includes an examination of his decision in 2016 to allow F.B.I. officials to speak with reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that Mr. McCabe was not forthcoming during the review, according to the people briefed on the matter. That yet-to-be-released report triggered an F.B.I. disciplinary process that recommended his termination — leaving Mr. Sessions to either accept or reverse that decision.
The Times is soft-peddling what happened.
The Washington Post is only slightly more forthcoming:
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz has for some time been working on a report that blasts McCabe for allowing two high-ranking bureau officials to sit down with the Wall Street Journal as the news outlet prepared a report in 2016 on an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s family foundation, then misleading the inspector general’s team about his actions.
A person familiar with the matter said Horowitz’s findings are what sparked the Office of Professional Responsibility’s recommendation.
The two people being referred to are FBI Asst. Director Public Affairs Michael Kortan and Lisa Page of Peter Strzok fame. They leaked to then-WSJ reporter Devlin Barrett – ironically now a national security reporter for the Washington Post.
Kortan resigned from the FBI on February 8, 2018. Lisa Page is likely cooperating with the Inspector General’s Investigation and has not been fired (for a listing of FBI/DOJ resignations & demotions see here).
McCabe was personally responsible for helping to exonerate Clinton. He’s also been at the center of the investigation and surveillance of President Trump.
Both Memos detailed the extensive abuse of the FISA Court system by the FBI.
Deputy FBI Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.
McCabe acknowledged that not only would the FISA Court have refused to grant a FISA Warrant – the FBI would not have even attempted a FISA application without the Steele Dossier.
McCabe also acknowledged that most of the information within the Steele Dossier was completely uncorroborated.
And yet, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one of the FISA Applications on behalf of the FBI.
The Grassley Memo detailed how Senior FBI officials – specifically Deputy Director Andrew McCabe – knew about newly discovered emails on a laptop belonging to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner for almost a month before Director Comey notified Congress.
The discovery of a Strzok text message appeared to indicate collusion by McCabe to alter or influence the 2016 Presidential election by utilizing the Trump Dossier:
I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s [Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe] office that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.
McCabe was already under investigation relating to Conflict of Interest charges in the Clinton Email Investigation:
Virginia Governor and longtime Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe donated $467,500 to the 2015 Senate campaign of Andrew McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe. The Virginia Democratic Party donated an additional $207,788 for a grand total of $675,288. This equated to more than a third of Dr. McCabe’s campaign funds.
McAuliffe met with the McCabe’s on March 7, 2015 – the purpose of the meeting was to convince Dr. McCabe to run for office – her first run at any public office.
Clinton’s private server was uncovered by the New York Times on March 2, 2015 – five days before McAuliffe’s first meeting with the McCabe’s.
At the time of McAuliffe’s first meeting with the McCabe’s, Andrew McCabe was running the FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office. It was McCabe’s office that provided personnel and resources to the Clinton email investigation.
The FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server was formally launched on July 10 2015.
At the end of July 2015, Andrew McCabe was promoted to the number three position within the FBI. He was again promoted in February 2016 – this time assuming the title of Deputy Director and becoming FBI Director James Comey’s number two man.
Quite the career trajectory.
Recently, there have been reports that McCabe may have ordered the alteration of Form 302s – which are the forms used by the FBI to summarize interviews conducted by the FBI during an investigation.
Sara Carter noted the following in late January 2018:
I have been told tonight by a number of sources … that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302s.
McCabe was a no-show for previously scheduled Congressional testimony.
Facing a Congressional subpoena, McCabe agreed to closed-door testimony that went on for nine hours.
McCabe was accompanied by top FBI lawyer James Baker. Baker was already under investigation for leaking classified information.
Immediately following McCabe’s testimony, Baker was “reassigned” (fired) and McCabe announced his retirement.
If McCabe lasts until Sunday, he retires with full benefits. It would be personally satisfying to see him formally fired now.
But the timing of this whole thing seems a bit odd.
The Washington Post helpfully notes the dilemma:
The situation now seems fraught for all involved. If the Justice Department does not move on the recommendation, conservatives might view officials there as unfairly protecting McCabe. Trump — who already has a strained relationship with Justice Department leaders — might be particularly displeased.
But if the FBI fires McCabe with just days to go before his retirement, it could be viewed as bending to the will of a vindictive president. Trump has previously suggested McCabe was biased in favor of Clinton, pointing out that McCabe’s wife, who ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia legislature, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political action committee of Terry McAuliffe, the then-governor of Virginia and a noted Clinton ally.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have been the primary recipients of leaks from the Intelligence Community and the Obama Administration.
Information being cited in the recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility is not new. McCabe has been under investigation for months.
While this could be an indication that the Inspector General’s Report is nearly finished, the timing of this release from “people briefed on the matter” seems suspect to me.
Which probably means AG Sessions is moving closer to something.
Thus, the sudden creation of pressure on Sessions by the timing of this story.